COVID-19 Faculty Experts

Experts at the University at Buffalo are available to discuss COVID-19 and the societal impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

For help reaching an expert on deadline, please contact UB's media relations team at 716-645-6969 or ub-news@buffalo.edu.

UB's COVID-19 experts by category:

Infectious disease, hospitals

Doscher can discuss substance use and addiction medicine in the context of COVID-19, including impacts on people with substance use disorder, the opioid crisis, rehabilitation facilities, telehealth and other issues. In spring 2020, she volunteered for three weeks as interim medical director at Phoenix House, a New York City-area rehabilitation center, as the region fought coronavirus. She also worked at a telemedicine “instant access clinic” for people with opioid use disorder established during the pandemic at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. As of summer 2020, she holds both positions remotely from Buffalo. 

Gómez-Duarte can discuss infectious disease, including preventive measures like social distancing, mask-wearing and hospital infection control; COVID-19’s impact on children; and disproportionate impacts on people of color in underserved communities. Gómez-Duarte is co-leading a project that addresses health inequities in Western New York during the pandemic through community engagement and education. That study also explores how people develop immunity to the novel coronavirus.

Hicar can discuss COVID-19's impact on children. He is leading a study that examines how immune responses to the virus may differ in kids versus adults. In addition, Hicar has researched Kawasaki disease in the past and can comment on a serious inflammatory syndrome that has struck some kids who have been infected by the novel coronavirus.

Kuo, a pediatrician and expert on children with special health needs, can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic puts children with disabilities at significant risk.

Lerner can discuss COVID-19's impact on emergency medical services (EMS), including the strain on EMS workers; how fear of coronavirus may be preventing some patients from seeking emergency care in a timely manner; and the effects of such delays on public health. Lerner is an emergency medical services researcher and former paramedic.

Murphy can discuss infectious diseases; how they spread; vaccine development; and how infections invade the respiratory tract. He can also discuss inequities in health care access and how COVID-19 could disproportionately affect people of color in underserved communities. He directs the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute.

Nielsen is an expert on health care policy. A former president of the American Medical Association, she can discuss a variety of issues relating to health care policy, and the strategies to protect health care workers who are at risk of COVID-19.

Russo can discuss all aspects of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Sellick is an expert on infectious disease. He can discuss pandemics and medical issues involving the spread and prevention of infectious disease.

Sethi, a pulmonologist and expert in COPD and respiratory infections, can discuss how COVID-19 affects patients, especially those with underlying lung disease.

Tomaszewski can discuss COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing. He can comment on the importance of testing, as well as challenges such as accuracy of tests and shortages of materials. He is chair of the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences at UB, and chief of service, pathology and laboratory medicine for Kaleida Health.

Winkelstein is leading a team that developed computer models to help health care providers in Erie County, New York prepare for potential surges in COVID-19 cases. He is an expert on health informatics, and can also discuss the value of electronic health records during the pandemic, along with challenges relating to these systems.

Health disparities, impact on vulnerable communities

Bowen is an expert on homelessness. She can discuss the potential impacts of coronavirus on homeless populations, and how society can work to protect homeless people during this crisis.

Gómez-Duarte can discuss infectious disease, including preventive measures like social distancing, mask-wearing and hospital infection control; COVID-19’s impact on children; and disproportionate impacts on people of color in underserved communities. Gómez-Duarte is co-leading a project that addresses health inequities in Western New York during the pandemic through community engagement and education. That study also explores how people develop immunity to the novel coronavirus.

Hequembourg can discuss how COVID-19 is magnifying health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations, and how these diverse populations are especially at risk during the coronavirus pandemic, including with regard to mental health. Her research focuses on understanding health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other individuals.

Murphy can discuss infectious diseases; how they spread; vaccine development; and how infections invade the respiratory tract. He can also discuss inequities in health care access and how COVID-19 could disproportionately affect people of color in underserved communities. He directs the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute.

Orom can discuss how COVID-19 is expected to disproportionately impact communities of color and people of low socioeconomic status due to decades of inequities that have made people with less education, people living in poverty and racial/ethnic minorities more vulnerable to serious COVID-19 disease. She is an associate director of the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute.

Patterson can discuss how residential segregation and economic inequality contributes to health disparities, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes issues tied to unequal access to housing, education, services and food.

Raja can discuss how COVID-19 is affecting food systems and food security in the U.S. and around the world. She can discuss resources for helping people access food during the pandemic, including in Buffalo and Western New York. Raja has also worked on projects relating to food security in Kashmir, India and Jamaica.

Rembis can discuss the social and cultural implications of isolation, social distancing, reduced access and healthcare rationing for people with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. He can also comment on the importance of supporting in-home healthcare workers, and of preventing the spread of the virus in jails and prisons, nursing homes, and other assisted living arrangements.​

Taylor can discuss the differential impact that COVID-19 is having on African Americans, the Black community and low-income urban groups, especially people living in poverty. This framework includes issues of unemployment, housing and access to treatment. He is a UB professor of urban and regional planning, director of the UB Center for Urban Studies, an associate director of the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute, and a member of the African American Health Equity Task Force in Buffalo.

Troen can discuss how COVID-19 is affecting older adults, including the pandemic’s devastating effect on people in nursing homes.

Weaver can discuss health disparities among Indigenous Peoples, and how inequities in health care access and services have worsened the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Native American populations. Weaver is a social worker, educator and researcher whose work centers on the importance of culture in helping processes, and how social work and other helping professions can be more responsive to culturally diverse people.

Mental health

Chang can discuss mental health during the pandemic, including strategies for coping, stress reduction or stress management. She can also comment on stress for frontline workers such as nurses.

Cook-Cottone is an expert on mindfulness and embodied self-care. She can share strategies for coping with anxiety, fear, stress and social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dubovsky can discuss mental health issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, including strategies for managing anxiety and fear. He can also discuss strategies for coping during extended periods of social distancing and isolation.

Gabriel, a social psychologist, can discuss mental health problems associated with social isolation. She can also share strategies for maintaining relationships and social connection during periods of physical social distancing.

Hequembourg can discuss how COVID-19 is magnifying health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations, and how these diverse populations are especially at risk during the coronavirus pandemic, including with regard to mental health. Her research focuses on understanding health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other individuals.

Rembis can discuss the social and cultural implications of isolation, social distancing, reduced access and healthcare rationing for people with disabilities, including those living with mental illness. He can also comment on the importance of supporting in-home healthcare workers, and of preventing the spread of the virus in jails and prisons, nursing homes, and other assisted living arrangements.​

Violanti is an expert on police stress. He can discuss the mental health and work hazards of police officers, who are among essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Violanti is a research professor and a police veteran who served as a New York State Police trooper for 23 years.

Education, schools

Abramovich can discuss how digital technologies can engage — or fail to engage — students of different age groups. An expert on educational assessment, he can also comment on methods for assessing the effectiveness of online education, and how schools can use assessment to support the efforts of teachers, students and families.

Honwad can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting access to education and exacerbating inequities in educational outcomes.

Gorlewski can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting access to education and exacerbating inequities, including for students who do not have access to the Internet. She can also discuss curriculum and assessment and the impact of instructional gaps on learning and achievement.

Karalis Noel can speak to the media about the repercussions of xenophobia during global pandemics, particularly the COVID-19 outbreak. She can also address the role educators play in halting the spread of misinformation, and the effects of pandemics on sociocultural inequality in schools and teacher preparedness.

Emergency preparedness and response, supply chains

Sands can discuss how society can prepare students in health care and other professions to respond to disasters and emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Sands is a nurse practitioner who also has many years of experience as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician.

Simpson can discuss at-risk supply lines, the logistics of shelter-in-place and the power of temporary organizations during COVID-19. She can comment on how the pandemic will complicate disaster management and response during hurricanes, wildfires and other emergencies. Simpson is a former volunteer firefighter, line officer and certified emergency medical technician. 

  • 12/6/16

    Nallan Suresh

    UB Distinguished Professor and Chair of Operations Management and Strategy

    Expertise: global supply networks; supply chain disruptions; U.S. manufacturing, especially auto and steel industries; global manufacturing; U.S.-China-India trade; logistics; infrastructure; economic development

    Contact: Nallan Suresh can be reached most quickly through Jackie Ghosen in the School of Management Communications Office at 716-645-2833 or mgt-pr@buffalo.edu.

Suresh is an expert on global supply networks. He can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting supply chains for everything from food and other groceries to health care supplies.

Violanti is an expert on police stress. He can discuss the mental health and work hazards of police officers, who are among essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Violanti is a research professor and a police veteran who served as a New York State Police trooper for 23 years.

Gig economy, labor issues

Dimick can discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting workers, including gig workers and others with limited job security. He can also comment on how economic inequality is exacerbating the pandemic's effect, and what solutions policymakers can pursue in the areas of labor and employment law and tax and welfare policy.

Hatton is an expert on the labor force, including the gig economy. She can discuss the impacts of coronavirus on workers, including those who are part of the gig economy and lack job security.

Working from home, workplaces

  • 3/16/20

    Kate Bezrukova

    Associate Professor of Organization and Human Resources

    Expertise: team chemistry in business and sports; managing a diverse workforce; unconscious bias at work; negotiations and gender; work-life balance; conflict management; artificial intelligence in teams

    Contact: Kate Bezrukova can be reached most quickly through Jackie Ghosen in the School of Management Communications Office at 716-645-2833 or mgt-pr@buffalo.edu.

Bezrukova is an expert on leadership and managing teams. She can share strategies for leading teams effectively and compassionately at a time when remote work is on the rise and many people are juggling work, parenting and other responsibilities. Bezrukova can discuss effective management of both in-person and virtual teams.

  • 3/16/20

    Timothy Maynes

    Associate Professor of Organization and Human Resources

    Expertise: employee-driven innovation and change; employee productivity, engagement and performance; effective team functioning (especially in sports)

    Contact: Timothy Maynes can be reached most quickly through Jackie Ghosen in the School of Management Communications Office at 716-645-2833 or mgt-pr@buffalo.edu.

Maynes is an expert on team performance and employee productivity. He can discuss remote work and virtual teams, and how managers can maintain trust and encourage continued innovation during the pandemic. Maynes can also discuss effective management of in-person teams.

Business, stock market and financial impacts

Tiu is an expert on financial issues. He can discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the stock market.

Fotak can discuss the pandemic's impact on small businesses and entrepreneurs, and on the stock market. He can also comment on government stimulus packages for businesses.

Elections, democracy and politics

Neiheisel can discuss the effects COVID-19 is having on the 2020 presidential campaign, voting systems and voter turnout.

International relations, trade

Friedman can discuss Canada-U.S. relations during the COVID-19 pandemic, encompassing issues such as travel restrictions, policy decisions, trade and labor mobility.

Karalis Noel can speak to the media about the repercussions of xenophobia during global pandemics, particularly the COVID-19 outbreak. She can also address the role educators play in halting the spread of misinformation, and the effects of pandemics on sociocultural inequality in schools and teacher preparedness.

Communication, information literacy

Julien is an expert on digital literacy. She can discuss fake news and misinformation, and how people can successfully seek out accurate, trustworthy sources of information about COVID-19.

Karalis Noel can speak to the media about the repercussions of xenophobia during global pandemics, particularly the COVID-19 outbreak. She can also address the role educators play in halting the spread of misinformation, and the effects of pandemics on sociocultural inequality in schools and teacher preparedness.

Ophir is an expert on the effect of media coverage on opinions, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors, including in health, science and politics. He can discuss how news stories and social media impact people’s perceptions of COVID-19; trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations; and intention to comply with CDC recommendations. Ophir can also discuss how people can avoid believing and spreading misinformation about the pandemic.

Stephens analyzes social media to understand trends in society, including in health and politics. She can discuss how social media can address social isolation, provide information and foster dialogue about the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also interested in online rumors about coronavirus, and how organizations are working to detect and prevent misinformation.

Head shot of Helen Wang.

Helen Wang is an associate professor of communication in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. She can offer insight into essential skills for navigating the media and finding accurate information during the COVID-19 and other crises.

Yang is a health communication expert. She can discuss strategies for keeping communication about coronavirus clear and simple, and how people can find reliable information during the pandemic.

UB COVID-19 Experts in the News